Development and Training Flight goes beyond basic training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Frank Casciotta
  • 310th Space Wing Public Affairs

The 310th Space Wing Development and Training Flight’s mission is to prepare new trainees mentally and physically for the challenges waiting for them at Basic Military Training. The flight’s chief is now expanding on that idea by giving trainees exposure to the wing organization and teaching administrative skills.  

“I want to give them every tool I can that empowers them to be successful. Not just at basic training, but when they arrive to their units as well,” said Master Sgt. Chris Buscaglio, the 310th DTF flight chief. “Giving them this exposure helps them become more familiar with the wing, its mission and the resources available to them. It also helps the units so they have to spend less time training them on administrative tasks and focus instead on getting them trained for their mission.”

Each month, 310th DTF trainees attend the Unit Training Assembly where they are taught about Air Force customs and courtesies, learn facing movements and work out. That’s typical of a DTF. By adding instruction on things like reserving hotel rooms, bringing in squadron representatives and mentors from the Rising 6, Buscaglio aims to bring the wing more self-sufficient Airmen.  

“We would have to spend a lot of time teaching them to use computer systems, which eats into the time we could have been spending on training for the mission,” he said, recalling his previous assignment as the 944th Security Forces Squadron superintendent at Luke AFB, Arizona. “The DTF is a great program, but there’s always room to improve. It’s an investment in people that ultimately benefits the Air Force Reserve as a whole. It’s an investment in people.”

Senior Airman Makinzey Brown, the Rising 6 president; a private organization for enlisted Airmen focused on building morale and welfare, approached Buscalglio with the idea of bringing in mentors for the trainees because of her sense of feeling lost when she first got to her unit.

“As far as I know, the Reserve doesn’t have anything like a sponsorship program like active duty does,” she said. “I remember what it was like being in their shoes and want to improve that experience. It feels nice to have someone you know you can turn to. That’s what I want for them.”

The DTF program started being adopted by Air Force Reserve wings in the early 2010’s in an effort to improve BMT graduation rates.